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And we’re cruising right along with our Card Madness 2019 Series!  We’re having a lot of fun with this, and we’re glad you guys have been so engaged!  Last night’s games saw a ton of votes, over 120 for each match!

Loving the Card Madness 2019 series?  Follow along here:

Game 53:  Chase Sapphire Reserve (127 votes) vs. American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles (12 votes)

The Sapphire Reserve (as expected) blows the Platinum Delta card out of the water, 127 to 12!  That means the Reserve got more than 10 times the votes that the Delta Platinum got, and to be honest, I’m surprised Delta even got the 12 votes.  The Reserve is an excellent card, and it’s no surprise that people value its benefits very highly.

a plane flying in the sky

Delta is taking off from this tournament!

Game 54:  Citi ThankYou Prestige (70) vs. American Express Business Platinum (55)

Game 54 was the closest game in these matchups, with the Prestige taking the edge over the Business Platinum in the second half.  The Business Platinum and personal Platinum are both great cards, but the Business edition is missing some of the personal card’s benefits, so the Prestige moves onto the next Round.

(Check out this great benefit to the American Express Business Platinum!)

Game 55:  American Express Platinum (101) vs. American Express Hilton Ascend Card (30)

The Ascend is a good card, but there’s no way it could keep up with the benefits offered by the American Express Platinum card.  Even at the $550 annual fee level, the Platinum is more than worth it (at least for 101 of our readers!).  The Hilton Aspire is actually still in the tournament, competing against the Alaska Airlines Visa in Game 58 below.

Game 56:  Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Red (23) vs. Chase World of Hyatt (101)

The Aviator Red didn’t stand a chance against the World of Hyatt card, as someone commented on the last post!  With this loss, Barclays has no more cards in the tournament!  It’s down to American Express, Chase, Citi, and the Bank of America Alaska card.

a person playing basketball at sunset

Here are your…

Elite Status Eight!

(Although the bracket is getting too spread out to snag a good screenshot, you can follow the Challonge bracket here!)

Game 57:  American Express Gold vs. Chase Ink Business Cash

In its last game, the AmEx Gold defeated another favorite Chase card – the Chase Freedom.  The Ink Cash brings a little more to the table, with 5x Ultimate Rewards back on up to $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, cable, phone, and internet, and double UR on up to $25,000 spent annually at restaurants and gas stations.  The Gold card offer quadruple Membership Rewards on restaurants and up to $25,000 spent at grocery stores.  Plus, you’ll have access to a $100 annual airline credit and a $10 monthly dining credit at select locations.

(Fan of the Ink Cash?  Check out the latest welcome offer on our Top Credit Cards Page!)

Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards are both great currencies to have in your pocket, and these cards both have great earning potential.  Who will win???

Game 58:  American Express Hilton Aspire Card vs. Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa

You know, I’ve heard the Bank of America Alaska card could be considered the underdog of this tournament, and I’m beginning to think that’s true.  It’s the only card that’s made it to the Elite Status Eight that:  is an airline card, is from a bank other than Citi, AmEx, or Chase, has no “good” bonus categories, and offers very little ancillary benefits.  The Alaska card barely beat the Bonvoy Brilliant card last round, and I think the Aspire is the better card here, but I’ve been surprised before!  The Alaska card earns triple miles on Alaska Airlines purchases, free checked bags on Alaska flights, and gives cardholders access to an Alaska Companion Fare.

On the other side of the court, the Aspire is coming to the match with an annual $250 airline credit, a $250 resort credit, two free weekend night awards, and automatic Hilton Diamond Status.  Cardholders earn 14x Hilton points on Hilton stays, 7x Hilton points on airfare, car rentals, and restaurants, and 3x on everything else.

Game 59:  Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Citi ThankYou Prestige

Battle of the titans!  Chase’s top tier card goes head to head with Citi’s high end travel card.  The Reserve and the Prestige are a great matchup:  Are Ultimate Rewards or ThankYou Points the better currency?  Is the Chase portal better?  Or would you rather have the 4th night free benefit on two hotel stays with Citi?

The Reserve will earn you triple points on travel and dining, and offers a $300 annual travel credit.  The Prestige grants cardholders 5x ThankYou Points on air travel and restaurants, and 3x on hotels and cruises.  You’ll also have access to a $250 travel credit and you’ll get the cost of your 4th night reimbursed on up to two hotel stays annually.

(Both cards also give you a Priority Pass Select Membership, with access to cool lounges like Gameway at Dallas/Fort Worth International!)

Game 60:  American Express Platinum vs. Chase World of Hyatt

I have to be honest, I’m not a Hyatt cardholder, and I was surprised by the great support it received last round!  I really thought the Aviator Red would put up a better fight, but I was sorely mistaken.  The Chase World of Hyatt includes one free night annually, with the chance to earn a second free night (Categories 1-4).  At a $95 annual fee, you’ll also earn 4x Hyatt points on Hyatt stays, 2x points on gyms and fitness, travel, mass transit, ride-sharing, and restaurants.

The Platinum earns 5x Membership Rewards on airfare and AmEx Travel bookings, and packs a punch with its $550 annual fee.  At that level though, you’ll have Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass Select Membership, an annual $200 airline credit, $200 in monthly Uber credits, and access to AmEx concierge.

If the AmEx Platinum wins, it’ll move onto the Financial Four against either the Citi ThankYou Prestige or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and we’ll get to see

a basketball on a court

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